Dive Trip Report to:
Purpose: To Beach Dive Florida for old wrecks, cannon, ships, bugs etc!
Saturday, 14-May, Morning Dive. My Dive #290
A. Dive Boat / Location: Beach Dive - Ft. Pierce / Pepper Park
Visibility: 10 - 25 ft. Mostly in the 20 ft range!
Seas: Flat - 6 inch waves on the Beach Entry
Water Temp: 75 deg
Skies: Sunny / Clear Blue Skies
Air Temp: 80's
C. Dive Information:
Depth & Time: Me: Genesis Nitrox Dive Computer - 13 ft for 1 hr 7 min (Didn't really use the other gauges)!
Air consumption: Me: 3700 lb to 1700 lb (120 cu ft)
Current: Slight if any!
Description: Well this was the first Beach Dive of the Year 2000 for the bacardi Beach Dive Team. Mid-week we had a request to start back up the Beach Dives that were started last year. At first, The Irishman didn't have much faith - there were strong winds out of the SE in the beginning of the week - we need calm or westerly winds for 3 days prior to the dives. By, Wed, the winds had calmed down. Calls to Pepper Park confirmed the potential dive visibility of 10 ft! By Friday, all was on and members of the Team met at 8 am at Pepper Park. There were some new changes at the park! The boardwalk that last year went only half way to the ocean then you had to walk with all your dive gear through the sand was replaced. There is now a brand new boardwalk from the parking lot to the life guard stand! There is also now two covered pavilions by the showers in place of one (but, again, watch out for the fire ants)!
Our Beach Entry at 8:15 am was easy! We did have about 6 inch waves, but the rest was flat calm. The previous reports said 20 ft vis on the third reef and 8 ft vis on the 4th reef. Well, out to the third reef we went, down and headed South. Vis was about 20 ft at this point. We followed the inside of the third reef line. My dive partner panicked on seeing the first school of cuda! There were about a dozen 3-4 ft baracuda. Unusual for this area, but where there is ocean, there are cuda! We came across three sting ray's buried in the sand. At first, we saw what looked like a rope. It was a ray's tail. Then we say the eyes and the other tails. Not wanting to disturb nature - or get stung - we left them alone!
A 4 ft nurse shark was spotted under a small ledge. She didn't want anything to do with this dive team and headed for the wilderness. Later we heard the lifeguard had spotted this shark the day before! There were the normal sheepshead et al. But - there were NO Lobster, and NO Turtles! After 55 min underwater we headed back to shore. Later we learned the lifeguard was swimming on top of us checking things out! The lifeguard was invited to future dives!!
In summary, for the first Beach Dive of the Year 2000 - the conditions weren't tooooo bad, waves were small, skies CBS, temp warm, some fish, some vis. It would have been nice to have had a little better vis, some bugs and turtles and it would have been nice to have had the entire Beach Dive Team from Last Year!!